Every once in a while, I like to challenge myself to paint in the style of another painter. In this case, I thought I would emulate the still life paintings of Cezanne. This is definitely not a copy of one of his paintings, but includes many of the objects that he painted – fruit, wine bottle, glass, table-cloth, yellow table, and my grandmother’s celluloid-handled knife. Even with this limited set of objects, it actually took a while before I was comfortable with the arrangement.
If you haven’t tried this exercise, you might enjoy it and actually come to appreciate the working methods of your favorite artists. This is where a visit to a museum is helpful in order to examine up close the artist’s brush strokes. For instance, you can’t tell just from looking at photographs that Van Gogh actually “carved” the paint onto his canvases. The texture is as much a part of the painting as the subject. I have been very fortunate to have visited several museums this past year and so, was able to view several Cezanne paintings up close. I like his still lifes much better than his landscapes but that is a personal preference. I was able to examine the nuances of his color application and his short, choppy strokes. Here is my interpretation.
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I do this sometimes too, copy a work I admire so I can learn something about how they do it. I was able to see Van Gogh and Cezannes work at the D’ Orsay this summer. I’m still in heaven.
Lucky you! It’s been years since I’ve been there but have been able to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC for many years. They have a very good collection.